The goal of “First Families” is 1) to identify descendants of those who shaped the early development of Indiana and the state’s vital role in the westward expansion of the United States; 2) to raise cultural awareness by helping people discover their family connections to Vincennes’ and Indiana history; and 3) to invite “First Families” descendants to participate in the mission of Grouseland: to educate the public, to preserve and promote the history of the United States.
First Families Lineage Program
Grouseland seeks to identify descendants from three categories related to the history of the Harrison Mansion, Vincennes, and Indiana:
- Descendants of President William Henry Harrison
- Descendants of American military veterans, who served at the Battle of Tippecanoe (1811)
- Descendants of Pre-Statehood Families (before 1816) in Vincennes and Knox County, Indiana
Grouseland hopes to develop a verified database of these descendants that will expand upon and update current sources and contribute to future research. Being a part of First Families provides the opportunity for recognition, but most importantly, the goal is to encourage, especially among younger generations, new discovery of one’s cultural heritage and the importance of preserving it. The first phase of “First Families” projects will run through the bicentennial of Indiana statehood, December 11, 2016.
The scope of Grouseland’s collection includes William Henry Harrison (1773 – 1841) and the Indiana Territory (1800-1812) and provides an excellent vehicle for young people to learn more and get involved in this mission. Through this effort, Grouseland intends to inspire all people, regardless of their background, to participate more personally and actively in historical preservation and education efforts. First Families can serve as a template for other communities to facilitate heritage education outreach.
First Families will be officially “launched” with a special announcement at Grouseland’s Annual Dinner on April 5, 2011. The dinner will take place at 6:00 PM in the Green Activities Center on the campus of Vincennes University. The speaker will be Vincennes Lincoln High School instructor and local historian, Kevin Myers. Advance tickets are $25.00, or $30 at the door.
To RSVP for the dinner, for more information about “First Families,” or to sign up as a qualified descendant, call Grouseland at (812) 882-2096, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grouseland is the home of the 9th President of the United States, William Henry Harrison, and served as the Indiana Territory governor’s mansion from its completion in 1804 to 1812. Grouseland is a National Historic Landmark located at 3 West Scott Street, Vincennes, IN 47591.